Eli Lilly seeks out Indian firm for second CNS partnership

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Eli lilly Hypertension Pharmacology

Eli Lilly has again teamed up with Indian research firm Suven Life
Sciences in a deal that will focus on preclinical research of
molecules in the therapeutic area of central nervous system (CNS)

The agreement will bag Suvent up to up to $23m per small molecule candidate that is selected for potential discovery and development and the firm will also receive research funding and royalties on any eventual commercial sales to be born out of the alliance.

No details were disclosed as to the length of the collaboration or the types of CNS disorders that were being targeted but Suven is no stranger to the field - currently the second largest therapeutic category worldwide and one of the fastest growing - and the company has a history of R&D in such ailments as Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depression, vascular dementia and Parkinson's disease.

The two firms are by no means strangers to each other either, Eli Lilly and Suven inked a similar deal in 2006, which saw scientists from both parties pool their knowledge to identify potent, oral compounds that selectively modulate the specified G-Protein coupled receptor for the target CNS disease.

This class of GPCR-based drug is highly lucrative - 12 of the top 20 selling drugs, including Coreg for congestive heart failure, Cozaar for high blood pressure, Zoladex for breast cancer, Buspar for anxiety and Clozaril for schizophrenia, as well as Zantac and Claritin, use this mechanism of action.

Together the drug class accounts for $200bn (€159bn) in annual sales.

Hyderabad-based Suven is one of India's new generation of contract research and manufacturing services (CRAMS) firms, who have their finger in a number of pies across the pharma services spectrum, engaging in formulation, manufacture and supply of drug intermediates, active pharmaceutical ingredients and finished dosage forms, as well as drug discovery development and clinical research support services.

Such firms in India, that would traditionally have just handled the manufacturing side of things, are developing a presence for themselves across the pharmaceutical value chain in order to evolve and remain competitive for the future, in a marketplace that has overcapacity in the manufacturing space.

At the time of inking the first deal with Eli Lilly, Venkat Jasti, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Suven said: "This is our first true research collaboration with a global pharmaceutical company thereby helping us realise the next step of our strategic vision".

Related topics Preclinical Research Preclinical

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